How to Fix a Recliner That Leans to One Side

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Imagine preparing to unwind at the end of a long day in your recliner only to find it leaning to one side, causing frustration and discomfort. What a way to destroy the vibe! Don’t worry; we’ll help you troubleshoot and fix this issue.

In this guide, we will discuss steps on how to fix a recliner that leans to one side, allowing you to restore your manual or power recliner’s stability and ensure comfort. We will also list the causes of a leaning recliner so you can look out for the signs. Get your tools ready, and let’s get started!

What Are the Causes of a Leaning Recliner?

Before jumping to the steps on how to fix a recliner that leans to one side, you need to understand the causes behind the issue. Here are some reasons your best recliner chair may be leaning on one side.

Causes of a Leaning Recliner Tension

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1. Broken or Misalignment Recliner Mechanism

One of the main causes of a leaning recliner chair problem is a broken or misalignment recliner’s mechanism. A sliding frame is a part of the mechanism which allows the recliner chair to open and close. This is part of the mechanism responsible for the leaning recliner issue. If the frame is broken or has a faulty part, your recliner will likely lean on one side.

On the other hand, misalignment can occur because of improper handling, regular use, or accidental bumps or impacts. Over time, the recliner’s internal components may shift or become misaligned, causing the recliner to wobble.

Luckily, the faulty reclining mechanism problem is easy to fix with a few basic tools in your house. You can either realign the frame or replace the faulty parts.

2. Uneven Flooring

Since most recliners usually have four feet that rest directly on each other on level surfaces, if there is an uneven floor, such as bumps, they will cause them to lean more to one side when in use. There will be an issue with weight distribution, and the recliner’s overall weight can be shifted to one or two legs, causing breakage of some parts of the recliner.

We recommend changing the position of your recliner so that it can have an even floor surface where it can stand steadily.

3. Poorly Constructed Recliner Frame

Recliner chair frames should be solid and sturdy; otherwise, if a recliner has a weak chair frame due to a poorly implemented design from the manufacturer, problems may arise, and the recliner chair may eventually lean on one side.

You can tell whether a reclining chair has a weak frame by sitting on it and feeling how unstable it is. Avoid buying from reclining chair brands that implement bad engineering and poor design.

4. Loosened Frame

Due to repeated usage, recliner frames are vulnerable to damage and may become loose. A loosened recliner frame will be indicated by creaking noises each time you sit on it. The recliner will eventually lean to one side when the frame gets loose since the chair’s core structure is no longer stable. We recommend addressing such an issue as soon as possible.

5. Loose Joints, Screws, or Bolts

Your recliner may shift and lean on one side if the screws or nuts holding the frame together are loose or if the joints are loose. Ensure you regularly check for and tighten loose screws or bolts to avoid this.

6. Damaged or Worn-Out Springs

Another reason why your recliner leans to one side is because of damaged or worn-out springs. Recliners usually require consistent support from springs to maintain balance on all sides. If any of them is worn out or damaged, this could result in an uneven balance and a leaning recliner.

Common causes of damaged springs include long-term usage, aging, and lack of maintenance. We recommend replacing these recliner springs if damaged or worn out, as they can result in instability and the recliner leaning on one side.

What Are the Equipment Needed to Fix a Recliner?

Here are the tools you need to fix a leaning reclining chair. If you don’t have any tools available at home, you can purchase them from any local hardware store.

Equipment Needed to Fix a Recliner

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  • Screwdriver
  • Wood glue or metal bracing (depending on the material)
  • Lubricating oil
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Wrench

How to Fix a Recliner That Leans to One Side

Step 1: Remove the Screws and Access the Metallic or Wooden Panels.

Remove the Screws and Access the Metallic

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The first step involves finding the screws holding the bottom wooden panel of the chair. Then, use a screwdriver to remove these screws to gain access to the panel. Simply lift it and put it aside to access what is within. Keep the screws in one area since you’ll need them after the repairs, or they can be lost.

Step 2: Remove Upholstery or Covering From the Overlays

Remove Upholstery or Covering From the Overlays

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Next, remove any upholstery or covering from the overlays on the panels that may be keeping you from viewing what is inside the recliner. You can see what requires replacement or fixing better once the frame is stripped bare. Ensure that the screws that may have been attached to this fabric are not lost.

Step 3: Apply Oil to Lubricate the Rusty or Creaky Springs and Joints

After removing the upholstery and accessing the recliner, it’s time to look for rusty springs and joints that require oiling. Apply the oil generously using a paintbrush or cotton swab, and while doing so, spread out old newspapers about your workspace to collect any dripping oil.

Applying enough oil will help lubricate the mechanism, making them easier to move around and repair. Remove any extra oil and check if the frame still makes noise while being moved or sat upon.

 Step 4: Fasten Loose Joints

Fasten Loose Joints

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Check how each joint has been positioned before working on it. It’s important to put them back in their original place so that everything remains balanced when you finish. Always use new screws while fastening the loose joints to prevent wear and tear from constant pressure over time.

Step 5: Look For Cracking on the Frame and Joints

It’s crucial to check each joint and the frame for cracks or breaks, as these might make the structure unstable and cause it to lean to one side. Before attempting to use the chair again, repair or replace any cracks immediately.

Step 6: Replace Any Damaged Components

Fix a leaning recliner

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Before replacing damaged components:

  1. Use screwdrivers to remove them and clean the area.
  2. Consult the recliner’s and the new part’s manuals while installing the new feature.
  3. Check that everything is connected correctly.

Step 7: Mend Broken or Damaged Parts With Glue or Metal Bracing

Fix any damaged parts using glue or metal bracing, depending on the type of material that needs repairing first. This should help prevent more unintentional damage in the future, as well as ensure that everything is securely tight enough to prevent mishaps from happening in the future.

Step 8. Double-Check that Each Joint is Working Correctly

Finally, ensure each joint works correctly and all parts are firmly connected for the reclining chair to provide maximum comfort. Replace the fabric after covering the mechanism with the wooden/metallic panel.


Fixing a recliner that leans to one side is a DIY task that requires troubleshooting and basic repair skills. By determining the causes of the issues, you can take the necessary steps to restore the balance and stability of your recliner chair, allowing you to enjoy its comfort once again. You will need the right tools to do so. Besides, ensure you follow the guidelines for the best results. Also, consult the recliner’s manual and any replacement components’ instructions during the repair process.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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